Dermatology

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Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a disease which results in the loss of skin color in patches, these patches grow through time and can affect any part of the body including the hair and insides of the mouth, but not contagious. This is due to the nonfunctioning or dead melanin producing cells which can be because of a malfunction in the immune system, can be hereditary, or a trigger event. 

Treatments can stop the spread or slow the discoloring process which can be done through medications, phototherapy with narrow band ultraviolet B (UVB), Removing the remaining color (depigmentation), or surgeries as skin grafting, blister grafting, and cellular suspension transplant.

Rosacea

Rosacea is a skin condition that causes the skin to flush or become red, it may also produce small, pus-filled bumps. Rosacea can be mistaken for acne or other skin problems. It can be due to an overactive immune system, heredity, or environmental factors. Symptoms include burning sensations, visible veins, facial flushing, swollen bumps, and can also experience eye problems.

Treatments include intake of vitamin C, antibiotics, antiparasitic drugs, and antihistamines. As well as, applications of anti-inflammatory gels, electrocoagulation and cryodestruction. 

 

Shingles

Shingles is an infection that is considered to be viral (the same virus as chickenpox), it is an inflammation of the nerve ganglia with a skin eruption. Itching, fluid-filled blisters, pain, burning, and sensitivity to touch are all symptoms of shingles. Can cause postherpetic neuralgia, vision loss, neurological problems and skin infections if not treated. 

Antiviral drugs can treat shingles and reduce the severity of the illness, as well as the recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV, Shingrix) can be used.

 

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic and inflammatory skin disease in which the epidermal cells are proliferating abnormally. It causes red and itchy patches on the skin. Psoriasis has many triggers that include infections, stress, smoking, rapid withdrawal of corticosteroids. Psoriasis comes in various types: 

  • Plaque psoriasis: causes dry, and red skin patches covered with scales. It usually appears on elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp.
  • Pustular psoriasis: appears on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet.
  • Guttate psoriasis: it is triggered by a bacterial infection, appears on the arms or legs.
  • Nail psoriasis: affects the fingernails and toenails, causes abnormal nail growth and discoloration.
  • Inverse psoriasis: causes smooth patches of red skin that get worse with friction and sweating. Appears usually in skin folds of the groin, buttocks, and breasts.
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis: covers the whole body with red, peeling rash that can itch or burn intensely.
  • Psoriatic arthritis: causes swollen and painful joints.

After the determination of the type of psoriasis a patient has, the treatment can be determined. Treatments include creams and ointments, light therapy, and oral or injected medication.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common and treatable type of cancer. It is a cancer that forms in the cells of the skin and their abnormal proliferation. Skin cancer begins in the skin’s top layer (the epidermis). Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can be one of the most important causes of this type of cancer along with exposure to toxic substances and a weak immune system. 

  • After the diagnosis of both the level and type of skin cancer, treatments can be determined. Treatments include the flowing:
  • initial skin biopsy that removes the entire growth.
  • Freezing.
  • Mohs surgery.
  • Excisional surgery.
  • Curettage and electrodesiccation or cryotherapy.
  • Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, Photodynamic therapy, biological therapy.

Fungal infections

A fungal infection, also know as mycosis, is a skin disease caused by fungus. A fungal skin infection might cause irritation, scaly skin, redness, itching, swelling, blisters. Fungal infections come in various types: 

  • Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis): it affects the skin on the feet, often between the toes.
  • Jock itch (tinea cruris): a fungal skin infection that occurs in the groin and thighs.
  • Tinea versicolor: is a fungal/yeast skin infection that causes small oval discolored patches to develop on the skin.
  • Ringworm of the body (tinea corporis): occurs on the torso and limbs.
  • Onychomycosis (tinea unguium): is a fungal infection of the nails.
  • Cutaneous candidiasis: occurs in areas that are warm, moist, and poorly ventilated.

Treatments can vary from one type to another; antifungal medications, creams, powders, sprays, nail lacquers, and antibiotics can all be used to treat fungal infections, but the doctor prescribes each of them based on the type of infection. 

Hirsutism

Hirsutism is the presence of excessive terminal hair in androgen-dependent areas of a women’s body. It is a common disorder and affects up to 10% of women. High androgen levels cause hirsutism which in turn can lead to virilization. It can be caused because of Polycystic ovary syndrome, Cushing syndrome, tumors, even some medications. 

Treatments include different medications and creams. Along with a couple of procedures which are laser therapy and electrolysis.

Herpes

Herpes is any of a group of viruses caused by herpesviruses, affecting the skin or the nervous system. It is characterized by the eruption of blisters on the skin. There are oral herpes and genital herpes, symptoms may differ based on the type. Hormones, weak immune systems, and sexual intercourse can all trigger herpes.

Diagnosis can be done through a physical exam or certain laboratory tests. There is no treatment that can get rid of the herpes virus from anywhere from the body once infected. But certain antiviral medications can be prescribed to stop its growth or spread. 

Warts

Warts are small skin growths that occur most often on your fingers or hands, they sometimes feature a pattern of tiny black dots which are clotted blood vessels. They are caused by a virus and can be infectious through touch. Small and fleshy bumps, sprinkled with black pinpoints, or roughness of the skin are all symptoms of warts. 

Treatments include strong peeling medicine such as salicylic acid, cryotherapy, minor surgeries, and laser treatments.

Moles

A mole is a pigmented spot on the skin. The medical term for mole is melanocytic nevus. Most moles are harmless. Every now and then, they may become cancerous. Being born with large moles, having various moles, unusual moles, of having a history of melanoma can all be causes for the development of moles. To prevent them, it is vital to keep track of changes in your body and protect your skin.  Treatments include surgically removing the mole or cosmetic care.

Acne

Acne is chronic inflammatory disorder of the pilosebaceous unit, it is when the hair follicle becomes plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Symptoms include whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, nodules, cystic lesions. It mostly appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulders. Excess oil production, bacteria, and inflammations can all cause acne.

Medications include retinoids, retinoid-like drugs, antibiotics, azelaic acid and salicylic acid. Certain therapies can also be used such as light therapy, chemical peel, steroid injection, drainage and extraction. 

Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex)

Herpes simplex is a viral infection that attacks the skin and nervous system which usually produces small and irritating fluid filled blisters around the mouth, lips, nose, or fingers. Viral infection or fever, hormonal changes, such as those related to menstruation, stress, fatigue, exposure to sunlight and wind, changes in the immune system, injury to the skin are all causes of cold sores.

Cold sores generally clear up without treatment in two to four weeks. Although, some prescription antiviral medications such as Acyclovir (Zovirax) may speed up the healing process.

Problem with nails

Problems with nails are certain abnormalities that include spots, discoloration, and nail separation.  Injuries to the fingers or hand, viral warts, infections, and certain medications can cause such problems.  

  • Beau’s lines are depressions that run across your fingernail, mostly because malnutrition.
  • Clubbing is when the nail thickens and curves around your fingertip.
  • Koilonychia is when the fingernail spoons.
  • Leukonychia are white spots or lines on the nail.
  • Onycholysis is when the nail plate separates from the nail bed.
  • Terry’s nail is when the tip of each nail has a dark band.
  • Yellow nail syndrome is when the nails get thicker and don’t grow as fast as normal.

Depending on the case, treatment may include antibiotics for bacterial infections, antifungal preparations, mainly oral tablets, for fungal infections in the nails, treatment for any contributing skin disease, and advice on appropriate nail care.

Hair Disorder

A hair disorder is a disease affecting the orderly growth and persistence of hair. 

  • Androgenetic alopecia results in permanent hair loss from the scalp.
  • Alopecia areata is when hair falls out in round patches from anywhere on the body.
  • Traction alopecia describes gradual hair loss that is caused by chronic pulling the hair in certain direction.
  • Chemotherapy-induced alopecia is scalp hair loss that results from chemotherapy.
  • Lichen planopilaris is an inflammatory condition that leads to permanent hair loss.
  • Frontal fibrosing alopecia causes even hair loss on the front and sides of the scalp, as well as loss of eyebrows. 
  • Dissecting cellulitis is when pustules develop over the scalp and permanent hair loss results.

Treatments may vary based on the type of the disorder and its causes. Oral medications, topical treatments or hair replacement through transplant surgeries are all viable treatments for hair disorder treatments.

Eczema

Eczema is group of medical conditions which cause inflammation and irritation to the skin. It is characterized by itchy, vesicular, weeping, and crusting patches. Some dysfunctionalities in the immune system can be considered to be a cause for eczema, as well as environmental triggers and stress.

Treatment for the condition aims to heal the affected skin and prevent flares of symptoms through topical corticosteroid creams, ointments, antihistamines, antibiotics, barrier repair moisturizers, injected biologic drugs, or phototherapy.

Atopic Eczema

Atopic eczema is a chronic condition that makes your skin red and itchy. Symptoms include small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched, thickened, cracked, scaly skin. It is due to a gene variation that affects the skin’s ability to provide protection against environmental factors and irritants. Often located on the head, scalp, neck, inside of elbows, behind knees, and buttocks.

Treatments include creams that control itching and contribute in repairing the skin, oral corticosteroids, light therapy, and wet dressings.

Dermatitis

Dermatitis is a common skin irritation, it has many causes and forms and usually involves itchiness, dry skin, or a rash. Symptoms include itchiness, dry skin, rash on swollen skin, blisters, flaking skin (dandruff), thickened skin, and bumps in hair follicles.

Depending on the cause and the symptoms, treatments are determined. Which include corticosteroid creams, gels, ointments, immune system targeting medications, phototherapy, or oral corticosteroids

Hand Dermatitis

Hand dermatitis is a common chronic eczematous disorder that affects the dorsal and palmar aspects of the hands due to a variety of causes. Hand dermatitis occurs due to genetic and unknown factors, injuries, or immune reactions. Some symptoms are swelling, blistering, weeping, and crusting.

When it comes to treating it, minimization of irritants will be advised, potent topical steroid, calcineurin inhibitors, azathioprine, methotrexate, ciclosporin, alitretinoin or phototherapy can be used. 

All of the personnel I came in contact with, went above and beyond to help me with my medical problems. I am now enjoying a more active lifestyle and no longer feel the discomfort in chest.
Betty Ballesteros Rendon— Dermatologist

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